17th Oslo Films From The South
Norway, October 4 - October 14 2007
Since the beginning in 1991, the “Films from the South” Festival (Film fra Sør) has developed into one of the most important film events in Norway, and the most important film event in this Northern country’s capital, Oslo.
In a mission statement the festival says that it “presents a film political adjustment to a film world of a western outlook”. Every year, around 25.000 visitors — in a city of 550.000 people that’s a lot — flock to the cinemas to watch more than 130 films from the south, the south being Africa, Asia and Latin-America.
This year, the festival’s program was divided into a main competition with it’s own jury, three panorama sections covering Africa, Asia and Latin-America and the New Directions section, which consisted of ten films to be seen and judged by the FIPRESCI jury.
The Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Lee (Ping Bing Lee) was a honorary guest at the festival and conducted a popular master class. Several of his films were shown in a retrospective program, including Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang) and Flight of the Red Balloon (Le voyage du ballon rouge).
A special section was dedicated to “Brave New China”, while the films in “The Critical Room” focused on topical events — Burma, Darfur, democracy — and were followed by seminars and discussions with the filmmakers and relevant experts.
This year, the FIPRESCI jury gave the Critics’ Prize to Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens’ Mongolian drama Khadak, and the directors received 50.000 NOK (around 9.200 USD) from “Oslo Kino”, a municipal cinema company.
The main prize, the Silver Mirror, went to the Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s Caramel — with the prize came 100.000 NOK (around 18.400 USD)to help the film get Norwegian distribution. A Special Mention was awarded to Korean director Kim Ki-Duk’s Breath (Soom).
The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (Ano em que meus pais sairam de férias) by Brazilian director Cao Hamburger was the festival’s most popular film and thus received the Audience Award. (Christian Monggaard)